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KIDS Brings Child Welfare Data Collection and Records Management into the 21st Century

The content below may contain dated material as it was prepared for the media in advance of Pittsburgh’s hosting of the G20 in March 2010.  

The KIDS (Key Information and Demographics System) application is a fully integrated child welfare management application that supports the records management process from the initial reporting of allegations of child abuse or neglect through the delivery and payment of services.

KIDS will ultimately retain demographic and service-related information about ALL the children and youth who receive services through the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) and their families.  The application focused first on the children and families served through the DHS Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF). The integration of KIDS with supporting applications such as the Master Client Index (MCI) and MPER (Master Provider Enterprise Repository) gives Allegheny County the ability to deliver a level of service coordination not feasible in the past.

The goals of KIDS are:

  • Provide a single repository for all information about each child and his/her family thereby improving coordination of services and leading to better outcomes;
  • Reduce the duplication in gathering and entering data;
  • Provide caseworkers and providers with greater ease of access to case records and information;
  • Reduce paperwork and the faxing/mailing of hard copy documents;
  • Generate more timely notification of approvals, critical dates and reauthorizations; and
  • Provide more defensible data about service delivery and outcomes. 

A phased approach was used to develop and implement the KIDS application to allow CYF staff and the provider community to become familiar with each module.

KIDS Release One streamlined the methods of collecting and processing information gathered during the intake process by reducing the need for handwritten documents and replacing them with electronic files that not only record the entered data, but also made it available for sharing and reporting purposes. (August 2008)

KIDS Release Two broadened the KIDS application to include the ability for authorized individuals to record, edit, search and retrieve files concerning clients’ demographic information, as well as abscondence, employment, education and health status. Release Two also provided an accessible method to keep all authorized individuals; including providers of services, aware of what services are needed by clients, what services are being provided to clients and whether the desired outcomes are being achieved. (June 2009) Future releases of KIDS will expand the system to support the adoption and guardianship business process, to facilitate the exchange of information with the local court system, and ultimately to support the fiscal component of CYF.

KIDS Release Three incorporated the functionality to support the services of youth in the county who are transitioning out of CYF to independence. This release also further supported the reduction of paperwork by integrating placement-assistance assessments. (June 2010)

KIDS Release Four allowed service providers to enhance the electronic case record with provider-generated and provider-maintained documentation such as service plans and service logs. This release made the exchanges of information between CYF and the service provider seamless and in real-time. (August 2010)

KIDS Release Five incorporated services to youth who are known to the Juvenile Court Probation Office (JPO) as well as the process for collecting and maintaining the records for children receiving services through the CYF Adoption and Foster Care groups, thereby expanding the level of service coordination the clients of CYF/JPO and their families receive. (November 2010)

KIDS Release Six was implemented in a two-phase approach.

The first integrated the application with the Court of Common Pleas Case Management System (CPCMS) to streamline the communication between Juvenile Court and CYF. (April 2011)

The second introduced the Fiscal Module to automate functionality for provider claiming and payment for CYF services. Because services are now documented in KIDS, the resulting claims are created automatically by KIDS, based on the service recorded. Claims generated from KIDS reduce the manual steps required to initiate a payment request because all information needed is maintained in one system. The Fiscal Module is a major milestone that has successfully accomplished the goal of automating provider claim and payment for CYF services. (July 2011)

Future releases of KIDS are intended to expand the system to further support the transition of clients across program offices and coordinate the services they receive across DHS.